Free or affordable ways to get online in Kenya in 2024

Everyone marketing their business online is looking for more leads that would potentially translate to more sales. If you are reading this article, you already know the importance of getting a website so I won’t bore you with preliminaries. Depending on how tight your digital marketing budget is, you can get a digital presence for free or without paying much.

At absolutely no cost, you can get a ‘website’ using Google My Business, a product by Google. All you need to get started is an email address (Gmail). I called it a ‘website’ because it is technically hosted on a subdomain but that is not the point here. A Google My Business website/listing helps you appear in search results of people looking for your product/service in your area. You can also use WordPress too but Google has a ‘bias’ towards their own tool, plus Google My Business has an easy Google maps integration.

If you are nerdier or would like more customization options, you can explore a self-hosted no code website. Here, you can use tools like Mobilize, Webflow or even website. I would lean towards WordPress since it has better content marketing (blog) integration. To get started, you will need to purchase a domain and a hosting service. In Kenya, a , domain and a decent hosting package will cost you 4,000 to 5,000 shillings. For this, I use Truehost Kenya. After getting the domain and a hosting plan, install WordPress from the Cpanel (don’t worry, a link will be sent to you after buying a hosting plan.) install, a WordPress theme, then start editing your website. WordPress is a simple drag and drop builder and you can do this without any help at all.

What I like about WordPress websites is they are easier to optimize for search engines, and there are free tools to help you do it. You also get more website customization options, including optimizing a website for a mobile device. Be sure to submit your site to Google (and other search engines) so that it can be indexed. Use tools like Google search console (for Google) and Bing Webmaster (for Bing).

While these two ways have their own limitations, you still get a digital presence with a tight budget. This is one of those cases where getting started amidst technical/budgetary limitation is better than waiting for everything to perfectly align. Remember, you can always hire a website developer later once you get your house in order, but that does not mean a website should wait.

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